Thanks for visiting my new blog. My hope is that we can use this space to talk about some of the issues that fathers face following a pregnancy loss or the death of a baby.
My wife and I experienced a full-term stillbirth 25 years ago, and it was an event that changed my life forever. At the time, I could not fathom how anything positive could come as a result of the pain I was experiencing. But over time I was better able to be open to discovering the gifts my daughter's short life brought me. Eventually I discovered ways that worked for me to express my grief, and by doing that, I learned much about myself, my relationships, and what was important to me.
My "therapy" happened to be writing. I guess that makes sense since I was a journalism minor in college and had been a writer and editor for both my high school and college newspapers. As a matter of fact, at the time of Kathleen's death, I co-owned a small publishing company in St. Paul, Minnesota, and we were the publishers of a community newspaper. Because infant loss was rarely discussed openly in the 1980s, I decided to write a feature article for our newspaper about the experience of being a young father whose baby died before birth. That article became the seed for future pieces that I would write on this topic.
Over the years I have written a couple of help booklets for dads and recently completed a book with Sherokee Ilse, author of Empty Arms and Miscarriage A Shattered Dream, on the topic of couple communication following the death of a baby. I have also spoken at both national and international bereavement conferences -- learning far more from the fathers I've talked to on those occasions than I ever taught them.
So.... that really is the purpose of this blog. To continue to learn and discover by getting to know more dads and sharing our varied experiences, triumphs and tragedies. Each time I develop a friendship with someone as a result of my work on this issue, I thank Kathleen one more time for making my life richer and more fulfilling. As a parent, I don't think there is anything more we could ask of our children.
I look forward to hearing from you!